Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My Breastfeeding Experiences: National Breastfeeding Awareness Month

Hi all,

I wanted this post up yesterday, but life had other plans. I wanted to end the last week of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month with my story on breastfeeding my first born, so here goes.

I had planned that I would be a breastfeeding mama and so like any good planner I made sure that after I had my son, I requested a lactation specialist to come to my room to help me get the hang of breastfeeding. Well, she came in and looked nice enough, like someone's grandmother, and proceeded to show and tell me how to get my baby to latch on. Here's where things didn't go so well, first it was like she was throwing the baby's head on my boob to get him to latch on (in my subsequent readings, I've never read about that method), then Hass is getting very cranky and upset about being thrown onto a humungo boob and not getting anything out of it. She then tells me that he is impatient and he'll have to learn patience in this world...um, he's like what an hour old? So, eventually we get him to latch on and things seem well, but he seems to not be getting "enough" so she says, let me get you a bottle of formula so he won't be hungry. Oh, if I knew then what I knew now!

So, Hass came into the world having both the bottle and the breast. Not only that, my parting gift from the hospital was an Enfamil sponsored tote bag (that's supposedly a breast milk storage bag, anyone else see the irony in that) and like a case of Enfamil formula. How does this exactly foster breastfeeding? Once, I was at home I would find that it seemed like Hass wasn't getting much milk from one breast, so I always supplemented his feedings with formula because I didn't want him to be hungry or malnourished. Now, this would be when you go to your local La Leche league to get some help, right? Well, I live in a majority black county in Maryland (Prince George's) and although we are the wealthiest majority black county in America, we still have NO LA LECHE LEAGUE in our county. As of press time we STILL do not! So, although I would have liked to go the logistics of actually going to one out of my county was bad. Luckily I bought myself the American Academy of Pediatrics, New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding. Which answered a great deal of my questions.

At some point in my half breastfeeding/half formula feeding routine I got myself a breast pump (a manual one, wrong move) and found that my right breast actually did produce significantly less milk than my left. The reason as to why Hass would be so cranky when he nursed on that side. Even with all the monkey wrenches thrown into the program, I really enjoyed the bonding time I spent with Hass while breastfeeding, along with the benefits I believe he was getting from my breast milk. I stopped breastfeeding with the advent of Hass' teeth, he got them earlier than most and thought it was funny to bite me. I think he was too young to get the implications of the biting and and even with the "disengage" technique he didn't realize the pain he was causing me. So, I stopped around his ninth month.

I hope to breastfeed Naim until he's at least one year old, I know the WHO recommends breastfeeding for two years, but honestly I have to get past my own issues with "extended" breastfeeding. And these issues are solely my own, I am happy to see another woman doing so. So, that's my story, what's yours?

1 comment:

  1. I had a great breastfeeding experience with my son and I really encourage it to people who are interested. I am always thrilled to read about other parents of color who practice attachment parenting. It really is about doing what comes naturally and it works a lot better than so many of the toughlove/CIO kind of stuff so many of us have been taught. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. I'm adding your button. :)



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